Pokémon Sun and Moon are arriving this week and with them a whole new realm of possibilities for competitive battling. This Friday, a host of new Pokémon will be available for trainers to raise and battle. Building a balanced team for competitive play, especially with unfamiliar Pokémon, takes a lot of research and care. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent — and even fun — resources out there to help you get started. Let’s break them down, one-by-one.

Pokemon Sun and News
Which will you choose? 

Choosing Your Team with Pokémon Team Planner

This tool popped up on Reddit last week, causing quite a stir. Pulling from Pokédex data mined from the Sun and Moon demo, this app lets you choose from your favorite Pokémon to create your dream team. Select six Pokémon and then hit the “+” sign on the top right to get an in-depth analysis of your team’s weaknesses and strengths.

As the Pokémon games themselves have evolved over time, the number of type variations and combinations have risen in complexity, making it a bit of a hassle to keep track of any weak points in your roster. This new tool does all of that work for you! It’s worth noting, though, that Pokémon Team Planner does not list stats for the new Pokémon, a key component of team building. But players familiar with the franchise should be able to get an idea of what to expect from some of these new monsters.

Pokemon Sun and Moon
Your moveset will make or break you. 

Plot Out Your Movesets with Project Pokémon’s Moveset Analysis

Again, making use of data mining, fan-site Project Pokémon has developed a list of every move a Pokémon learns by level, TM and HM, and through breeding. It’s only available in a rudimentary text file for now, so you’ll have to use your browser’s search function to sift through the hundreds of Pokémon on the list. However, it includes the new Sun and Moon Pokémon, making it an invaluable resource if you’re looking to get a head start on building movesets for your competitive teams.

Professor Oak
Sometimes you need to seek the help of a professional. 

Seek Out Feedback from Pros and Other Experienced Trainers

Team building doesn’t have to happen in a vacuum. In fact, it’s to your benefit to seek out the advice of others. Competitive Pokémon has a great community, and you’ll find plenty of experienced players willing to rate teams and offer help.

/r/Stunfisk is a wonderful resource for people looking to get into competiton. They host community events and team-building workshops to help teach newcomers, and are very open to rating new trainers’ teams.

You also can’t do wrong by checking out Smogon and its message boards. Smogon is an essential resource for competitive players at all levels. They have extensive databases and rankings of all Pokémon if you want to find out what makes one Pokémon better suited for competitive strategies than others. Their message boards are very active, and you can sign up for tutoring or simply post your own requests for advice. It’s also a great way to learn more about tournaments and competitions.

Boost Pokémons Stats with Hyper Training

You’ll have to wait until Friday for this one, but Pokémon Sun and Moon is looking to change the way folks train Pokémon for the competitive lifestyle. All Pokémon have individual values, or IVs, that determine a Pokémon’s base stats, and they can’t be changed. Because of this, people would have to breed Pokémon for the IVs necessary to compete professionally. It was a highly time-consuming process, especially when you consider that no one could really see what these IVs were before Pokémon X and Y.

Now, things are about to become a little more flexible. With the addition of Hyper Training in Pokémon Sun and Moon, you’ll be able to raise a level 100 Pokémon’s IVs. By giving a Bottle Cap to an NPC named Mr. Hyper, players can raise IVs, with different amounts of Bottle Caps even offering the potential to max out these stats. Trainers will still need to breed for inherited moves and the Natures of their choosing, but this is going to cut down on training time significantly.

Competitive Pokémon takes some research and effort. Take advantage of these days leading up to Pokémon Sun and Moon’s launch by looking into these resources and practicing building your own competitive teams. It’s easier now than it ever has before, so what do you have to lose?

The Alola Region
Time to explore a new world. 

Photos via Nintendo News, WiffleGif, Tumblr, The Pokemon Company, Screen Rant 

Jessica is a freelance writer based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can read other stuff she writes on VICE, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Geek & Sundry.